How Long Before TiVo Drops Flash?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by atmuscarella, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. solutionsetc

    solutionsetc Member

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    In my mind, TTGO and BTT are the only things truly distinguishing TiVo from the cable and sat offerings. For me, it is really the only thing that keeps me using a TiVo. Actually, I use third party alternatives to it because TiVo Desktop is such a lame attempt.

    With ever increasing no copy flags appearing on cable networks, TiVo needs to come up with an elegant solution address this.

    Prediction: They won't. And when these features no longer distinguish TiVo from the rest of the pack, I (and a lot of others) will join the current exodus.
     
  2. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    For those without an S4, and no plans to get one, considering all the horror stories?
     
  3. Fofer

    Fofer Bo55man69

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    I'd say the "horror stories" are a bit overblown. It's certainly not living up to its potential, but I do like my TiVo Premiere (using the SDUI) quite a bit better than the Series 3 TiVo it replaced.
     
  4. WizarDru

    WizarDru New Member

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    I'd second that emotion. I own a TiVo Desktop license, but it's a niche product. It's hamstrung by legal requirements that means it will never be able to do things that non-TiVo projects will. The main TiVo UI is one of the things that sets it apart from the Cable company DVRs and one reason that TiVo has survived. Going over to my in-laws to use the TiVo is PAINFUL.

    I'd love TD to be able to transfer shows to my iPad and the like, but it's never going to be able to do that. Not in a world with HBOGo and each major network with its own streaming solution AND a world in which Netflix, Hulu and Vudu exists.
     
  5. davezatz

    davezatz Funkadelic

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    Which legal requirements?

    Yet it's the same world that Slingbox exists in...

    Of course, I do agree with your bottom line. TiVo doesn't want to ruffle any feathers amongst the content industry and their MSO partners - except perhaps the ones they're litigating against.
     
  6. innocentfreak

    innocentfreak Well-Known Member

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    I believe like the iPad app TiVo Desktop is outsourced.

    Personally I would love to see a TiVo Desktop that mirrors the iPad app UI while incorporating all the extra features of the iPad app combined with KMTTG and TiVo.com. Anything I can do on TiVo.com related to my TiVo I should be able to do on a desktop application from TiVo.

    It also seems like they could then possibly cache some of the data the HDUI is requesting from the TiVo servers.
     
  7. WizarDru

    WizarDru New Member

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    By that I mean requirements from the legal department, as you sussed. Stuff like this, from the TiVo desktop FAQ:

    " TiVo has taken deliberate steps to protect the content that originates on our digital video recorder and is transferred to the PC via our TiVoToGo feature. TiVo Inc. views creating tools to subvert that protection as a violation of the TiVo license agreement and strongly discourages such activity. Distribution and/or use of such tools to transfer copyrighted works outside of your home may constitute an infringement of the rights of copyright holders and/or a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and could result in legal action. TiVo reserves the right to terminate the TiVo service accounts of users who transfer or distribute content in violation of the TiVo Service Agreement. "

    Slingbox doesn't actually serve content, right? It just allows you to remote control devices that do, instead. That's the critical difference. It's not technically serving anything.

    It just makes me sad that in a week, my Xbox-360 will do a better job of serving digital content from FIOS, HBO, Youtube, facebook and Netflix than my TiVo, which had several of them years earlier but has never moved forward with them.
     
  8. davezatz

    davezatz Funkadelic

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    It's something of a grey area... because it's unlicensed retransmission or broadcast of content. But theoretically only for personal use. Some folks (like HBO) did make noise, but I think you're right that by not retaining the video data as a static file makes it less offensive in some way. If TiVo and TiVoToGo were more popular I imagine TiVo, Inc would have more problems and obviously TiVo tries to avoid controversy via encryption and using low resolutions.
     
  9. morac

    morac Cat God TCF Club

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    Well the file transferred over from the TiVo is basically the original recording resolution wrapped in encryption that is easily stripped. Using TiVo Desktop to convert the video to a portable format is what lowers the resolution (dramatically I might add).

    You can use something like VideoRedo (or free programs) to convert the TiVo files to iPad format and maintain a 720p resolution, as opposed to TiVo Desktop's 320p resolution. The main problem is with these methods is that it's time consuming. Re-encoding HD video takes a considerable amount of time.
     
  10. davezatz

    davezatz Funkadelic

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    Right, we know how to bypass all of that. But using the official TiVo Desktop method, the video files are low res and encrypted - which are TiVo's methods to limit strife and drama with the content industry. As I previously mentioned, I think they're also partially insulated given usage numbers.
     
  11. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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  12. Sapphire

    Sapphire Xtal substance

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    That's no surprise. None of them want to pay licensing fees just like Google wants to phase out h.264 in favor of their own royalty free WebM and Amazon used HTML5 to skirt around Apple's 30% cut of kindle in app purchase. Oh, the iRony. :D
     
  13. Krandor

    Krandor Active Member

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    True but as more and more people move to using tablets and phones, designing pages in a format that isn't going to be viewable on mobile devices isn't something developers will want to do so web pages with things like videos encoded in flash will likely change to something more mobile friendly.
     
  14. Fofer

    Fofer Bo55man69

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    I think you're giving TiVo far too much credit.
     
  15. tenthplanet

    tenthplanet Well-Known Member

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    The flash vs. html 5 wars are going to be with us for sometime. Tivo would be wise not to move too quickly.
     
  16. Fofer

    Fofer Bo55man69

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    TiVo? Move quickly? Ha! Good one. :D


    Not to mention, I think it's pretty obvious there's no "flash vs. HTML 5 war" going on anymore. Flash has raised their white flag of surrender.
     
  17. m42

    m42 New Member

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    Really? Why would you want to limit your interface to HTML5 and Javascript for a non-web platform?

    It makes sense on the web because plain text source code is more searchable, but there are so many downsides to using HTML5/Javascript instead of Flash.

    Javascript and AS3 are both JIT'd. But AS3 is statically typed, and that gives it the potential to run far more efficiently. As is, Javascript can't compete.

    The Flash platform also supports additional languages such as Haxe and C/C++. With the latest tech, C++ compiles to AVM2 byte code, taking full advantage of special memory opcodes and runs many times faster yet.

    Flash supports Shader Model 3 GPUs with low level control over the hardware via vertex and fragment shaders. If older hardware doesn't support it, it falls back to a very fast software renderer. SM3 is roughly what you see on the XBox 360.

    So let's take a look at games because games are more demanding and require more efficiency than anything else.

    So how about this:

    Epic Games Announces Unreal Engine 3 Support for Adobe Flash Player
    w w w . u n r e a l e n g i n e . c o m /news/epic_games_announces_unreal_engine_3_support_for_adobe_flash_player

    And this:

    Unity 3.5 supports Flash as a build target
    u n i t y 3 d . c o m /unity/publishing/flash

    And this:

    Crytek is investigating Flash for CryEngine
    w w w . j o y s t i q . c o m /2011/10/06/hold-on-ue3-crytek-is-investigating-flash-for-cryengine-cr

    Some might point to WebGL as a solution, but what's going to power the game? Javascript??

    Even if you only want to develop casual games or lightweight apps, do you think Microsoft is going to jump on board with WebGL? Love 'em or hate 'em, without Microsoft, there's no way WebGL can become a useful standard.

    Bottom line - Javascript/HTML5 solutions work fine for lightweight apps, but require far more CPU power than Flash based solutions for anything remotely complex.

    Oh, and if you're not writing games, why does this matter? Simply because it's always nicer to base your product on something that gives you more options and flexibility when you need it.

    If Adobe did decide to kill Flash and everyone moved to HTML5, it might not put a dent in simple UIs, but it'd throw web based games into the dark ages.

    The point in keeping a technology like Flash around is that it takes forever for the powers that be to standardize new tech for the web, but given that new tech constantly appears and always will, a platform like Flash can deliver that tech years before you'd otherwise have access to it in a cross platform environment.

    I'd love to see an open cross platform solution succeed. But currently, we aren't anywhere close for demanding apps.
     
  18. ShinySteelRobot

    ShinySteelRobot Member

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    With Android, Google had the right idea with a streamlined version of Linux (sort of like what TiVo already uses) paired with the Dalvik Java virtual machine. It's an excellent solution that provides high performance on "slow" systems (such as mobile and tablet systems).

    Flash/ActionScript is nice, and quite good for something originally designed to animate web pages back in the day, but the Java language is far more powerful and flexible in just about every way.

    It's utterly baffling that TiVo went with a highly proprietary solution like Flash rather than Java.

    If TiVo had used Java and its advanced tools then TiVo would have had their second CPU core fully enabled a year ago rather than just this month, and they wouldn't be facing Adobe's continual retrenchment of their Flash solutions across mobile, TV, etc.
     
  19. rainwater

    rainwater Active Member

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    Not really. Java is a dead language for creating user interfaces. TiVo isn't using Flash to power the entire operating system but only the UI. It makes sense to use something that is easy to build interfaces for.
     
  20. ShinySteelRobot

    ShinySteelRobot Member

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    The 32 million Android phones out there (which all run Java and which all have UIs) are in BIG trouble then. :)
     

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